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‘Out of the Closet’ Series at Ithaca College to Screen Film on DOMA Plaintiff

ITHACA, NY—When the love of Edie Windsor’s life died, she was forced to pay additional estate taxes because the federal government did not recognize her marriage to Thea Spyer. Edie would become the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, resulting in the Supreme Court ruling in June that the federal ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

On Thursday, Sept. 12, the Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series at Ithaca College will show “Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement,” a documentary capturing the story of these two women and how their simple love for one another changed history. The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in Textor 101, and it is free and open to the public.

Edie and Thea became “engaged” shortly after they met in New York’s West Village in the early 1960s, though the idea of a civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples was unthinkable at the time and would not come to pass for another four decades. In their 70s, with Thea’s health in rapid decline, the two seized the opportunity to fulfill their dream after Canada legalized gay marriage. The film captures their inspiring journey to Toronto, where they were finally able to make their vows.

“Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement” was produced and directed by the award-winning filmmakers Susan Muska and Gréta Ólafsdóttir, whose other works include “The Brandon Teena Story” and “Women, the Forgotten Face of War.” Its honors include the Audience Award for Best Documentary at OUTFEST, the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Amsterdam’s Roze Filmdagen.

The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series is sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services. For more information, visit